Low attendance at JPC meeting in Enniscorthy
There was a low turn-out at last week's meeting of the sub-committee of the joint policing committee in Enniscorthy, with only two of the members showing up.
Cllr Joe Sullivan and Cllr Robbie Ireton flew the flag for the rest of committee at the meeting, which was also attended by District Manager Padraig O'Gorman, Superintendent Liam White and Inspector Pat Cody. Cllr Jim Moore, Cllr Davy Hynes and Cllr Pip Breen were absent on the evening as were the three community representatives on the committee.
Cllr Robbie Ireton was elected Chairperson of the committee by Cllr Joe Sullivan, while Cllr Ireton returned the favour by electing Cllr Sullivan Vice. Their proposals were passed, with nobody else there to make alternative proposals.
For the remainder of the meeting, there was a discussion on the Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs and Related Crime Bylaws. As part of the Wexford JPC Six Year Strategic Plan, the members have agreed to put in place comprehensive countywide consumption and misuse of alcohol bylaws in an effort to reduce alcohol and drug related crime.
Mr O'Gorman said that as in Urban District Council, they had adopted bylaws in the past but said it would be best to have one that covers the county.
'It is better off dealt with as a whole so there is no ambiguity,' said Superintendent White.
Mr O'Gorman drew the members attention to some details in the Enniscorthy (Registration and Control of Consumption and Possession of Intoxicating substances in public places) Bylaws 2000, particularly part six, which said that anyone guilty of an offence shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £500.
Inspector Pat Cody said that there was no point in having a €500 on the spot fine as many people wouldn't have the money on them. He said that a graduated fine would be preferable and suggested looking at towns around the area to see how they did things. Cllr Sullivan said that an on the spot fine would be preferable and it was agreed by all that if this was the case, it might be best to have a system in which the fine increases the longer it goes on unpaid. All agreed that they did not want to clog up the court system.
Mr O'Gorman said that between now and the next meeting in February, they will draft a set of bylaws and circulate them to the members. If they are adopted, they will run them through the municipals and subsequently, bring them to the County Council. Following this, there will be a public consultation. A report will be made and brought back to the members for adoption.
On the subject of harmful substances, Cllr Ireton asked whether 'head shop drugs' were still an issue in the area.
Superintendent White and Inspector Cody said that all of the sales of these drugs are now done over the internet and advertised as remedies, making it difficult to catch those buying or selling them.
To conclude the short meeting, Cllr Sullivan said he was very disappointed with the turnout.
'There is such a major scrap to get on the JPC and then you only have two of the five elected representatives in attendance.'